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Our roles and responsibilities

Find out about the work we do to make sure that the environment and natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, sustainably enhanced and sustainably used, now and in the future


Natural Resources Wales is the largest Welsh Government Sponsored Body - employing 1,900 staff across Wales with a budget of £180 million. We were formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wales, as well as certain Welsh Government functions.

We receive a Remit Letter at the start of each financial year setting out what the Welsh Government wants us to achieve during that year.

Our roles and responsibilities

  • Adviser: principal adviser to Welsh Government, and adviser to industry and the wider public and voluntary sector, and communicator about issues relating to the environment and its natural resources
  • Regulator: protecting people and the environment including marine, forest and waste industries, and prosecuting those who breach the regulations that we are responsible for
  • Designator: for Sites of Special Scientific Interest – areas of particular value for their wildlife or geology, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and National Parks, as well as declaring National Nature Reserves
  • Responder: to some 9,000 reported environmental incidents a year as a Category 1 emergency responder
  • Statutory consultee: to some 9,000 planning applications a year
  • Manager/Operator: managing seven per cent of Wales’ land area including woodlands, National Nature Reserves, water and flood defences, and operating our visitor centres, recreation facilities, hatcheries and a laboratory
  • Partner, Educator and Enabler: key collaborator with the public, private and voluntary sectors, providing grant aid, and helping a wide range of people use the environment as a learning resource; acting as a catalyst for others’ work
  • Evidence gatherer: monitoring our environment, commissioning and undertaking research, developing our knowledge, and being a public records body
  • Employer: of almost 1,900 staff, as well as supporting other employment through contract work

Find out more about how we work and our approach to natural resources management. 

Related document downloads

Executive team structure PDF [102.2 KB]

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